Film Review 2012: My Top 8
Well it is nearly Christmas again and the new year beckons. Over the Christmas break, you may like to catch up on some movies and are looking for some suggestions. If you have not seen these films, see some of them over the Christmas break. However, I do warn you that you may not like every film I love. We all have different tastes and sensibilities.
In order of their release the following list is my Top 8 Films of 2012.
From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries
If you like a solid drama that is highly emotional and moving, you will love this film.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.
I loved the mood of this film. It takes a while to get into the film but once you get there, it is an engrossing story. It is not for the faint hearted but it is an exceptional work from David Fincher ( Seven , Fight Club) The film is set in Sweeden and you certainly feel the grim Sweedish winter. If you liked Seven or Fight Club, you will love this film. I prefered this version to the original Sweedish version.
When Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh's (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a "good will" story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible.
I really liked the script and the dialogue was snappy and witty. If you like Woody Allen films, you will love this charming romantic comedy. Well worth a look over Christmas
Mel Gibson finds new life in a Mexican jail after getting caught at the border with $4 million dollars of Mobster money in this production from former first assistant director turned helmer, Adrian Grunberg
I really thought that Mel Gibson returned to top form with this film. Due to Mel's fall from grace the film was not seen by audiences. See this film as it is a very enjoyable film.
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane..
If you have not seen this film yet, make sure you see it this Christmas. The Director Christopher Nolan is the best Action Director in the world. What I love about this film is that there is actually a script and a story at the core of this film.
When we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller (Richard Gere) on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen (Susan Sarandon) and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke (Brit Marling), Miller's also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote (Laetetia Casta). Just as he's about to unload his troubled empire, an unexpected bloody error forces him to juggle family, business, and crime with the aid of Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), a face from Miller's past.
This film is gripping. If you have not seen it , I am sure you will love it . Richard Gere returns to form.
Based on true events, Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis-the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.
Just see this film. I hope I have not overhyped it. I saw it and loved the film. My personal Favourite
Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined - at age 38 - to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.
This is a confronting film that examins the sex lives of the disabled. Yes this sounds off putting but I think if you give this film a chance, its emotional punch will leave you moved. This is a film that you will remember years from now.
Not in my Top 8 But worth a mention
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Mission Impossible 4
- The Iron Lady
- Margin Call
- The Sapphires
What's on at Australian Film Base in February 2012:
The Melbourne One Day Film School This Saturday 10th March 9am - 6pm
Trinity College, University of Melbourne Royal Pde, Parkville.
Post Why has Apple destroyed a really good Editing Software? Final Cut Pro X Review
I have to start todays article by saying that since I started using computers, I have always used and loved Apple. During the mid 90s when Apple where ninty days from receivership, I believed and stayed with Apple. In that time Apple has risen from a basket case to the most profitable company in the world. The reason for this is plain and simple. Apple always made great products. This value alone drove Apple to the top.
Now that has changed and for the first time ever, I have to say that an Apple product stinks. Their latest editing software offering, Final Cut Pro X, is an insult to film editors. Thrown up dogs breakfast seems to be more appealing than this amateur dribble. In fact, amateurs should steer clear of this rubbish and use any other editing software. I will tell you about the best alternative editing software later.
I have always wanted to write positive articles about how the film world works. The only reason I am writing a negative article is that I do not want to see people suffer. I all ready have and feel compelled to warn everyone.
Last week I visited a client of mine, David. I had shot his film and I was interested in how the edit was going. He was editing on Final Cut Pro X and asked me if I could do a final polish on the film. Then for the first time I attempted to edit on Final Cut Pro X.
This proved to be Mission Impossible. It felt like back in the late 80s when I edited my first film and I used two VHS machines and crash edited two clips together. Or the old steenbacks where we used to cut and splice film print . Definitely preferable to Final Cut Pro X. The whole purpose of an editing software is to make life easy and make a film look professional. Final Cut Pro X fails totally.
Why is it so bad?
This Conan O"Brien review of Final Cut Pro X should outline some of the problems. There are many more reasons not to stay with Final Cut Pro X. To put it bluntly, I would describe Final Cut Pro X as a nasty virus. The sooner it is eliminated the better.
If you need tutorials on how to use Adobe Premiere Pro have a look at lynda.com software tutorials. They have a range of tutorials in using software including learning how to transfer from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro They also have tutorials on starting afresh with Adobe Premiere Pro. They charge $25US per month for their tutorials and you can cancel at any time. They also have tutorials on a myriad of different software. Very good value for money.
If you are in Melbourne, please pop into our One Day Film School at Triinity College University of Mebourne.
Tonight, I am in Melbourne at the Premiere Screening for the September - December 4 Month Film School. The Film is called Houseraiders and it s turned out very well.
International FIlm Base